HUMOR IN UNIFORM
This a debut of a new feature in CopBlue: “Humor in Uniform,” being authored by retired New York cop, Anthony LoBalbo. Join us as we share smiles with Anthony.
Anthony has migrated south to the Sunshine State and found the driving experience in the South just a little bit different than New York.
- Drivers pass on the RIGHT, they pass on the LEFT, they pass on a double yellow, they pass around a turn, they pass up a hill, and they pass doing well over the speed limit.
Perhaps it has something to do with what the salesman told them about the car, the wild quasi competition TV commercials which depict their car racing around town, or, if they’re under eighteen years of age, they think no one is watching.
- Observe many drivers who race or rush TO a red light or a STOP sign. Why this is done has always baffled me but I am certain they receive “thank you” notes from the dealership or their mechanics for the added expenses of this practice (additional brake work, transmission wear, etc.).
Refer to #1 in allowing these drivers to do this; you’ll meet them at the next red light, flashing yellow or STOP sign.
- “Following too closely” appears to be a sport in this state. If these “tailgaters” crowd you as if they are attempting to read the small print on your license plate, allow them to pass. After all, they might be delivering blood plasma or taking a sick puppy to a veterinarian … but I doubt it.
They do this to make you drive faster. Just pull over and let them pass. As in reference #1, you’ll meet them at the next STOP sign or red light. The worst thing you can do is hit your brakes … unless you want a new vehicle or enjoy CT Scans and MRI’s to help your physician figure out why you have that consistent pain in your neck.
- As in the European suggestions, constantly glance in your rearview mirror to be aware of the maniac drivers described in Nos. 1, 2 and 3. I know the actor, Raul Julia states, in THE GUMBALL RALLY,”… the first rule of Italian driving … what’s behind me is not important …”, but in Florida you must know who is behind you and what they’re doing.
- Not too many “roundabouts” in this area, but a good practice to keep in mind is that “the vehicle in the roundabout has the right of way.” At 4-way stop sign intersections, the car on the right has right-of-way.
6. Courtesy is a rare thing to observe but even though that driver might not display it, let that car ‘on the right’ go first. It’s not a contest even though that driver might think it is. It’s a prize-less victory, so let that driver “win”.
One other tenant of vehicle & traffic law is that the pedestrian has the ‘right of way’; let them cross and in some jurisdictions, they only need to raise their hand and the driver must give way to them.
Horse crossings are another point of interest. My recommendation would be to slow down to a veritable CRAWL so as to not “spook” the animal. In some jurisdictions, it could be a ticketable offense to race past a horse and rider and always a good idea to slow down any time you observe one.
- In Florida, speed limit signs are apparently decorative. Rarely are they adhered to, but unless you enjoy being interviewed by a Deputy Sheriff or the Florida Highway Patrol, I would advise they be observed.
If you like the absence of speed limits, I am told there are places in Wyoming, Nevada and Utah that have none … or the old ‘stand by’, take your supercar to a track.
While driving recently on I-10 in Texas, the speed limit was 80 mph. After witnessing many people being stopped by Texas State Troopers, I guess that speed is not fast enough for them.
I always thought that having a spectacular car like a Porsche is so people SEE you driving the car and not a blur racing past.
- SCHOOL and HOSPITAL zones still hold some respect among selected drivers but not a majority. These operators can be found flying through those zones with, again, no apparent reason for doing so.
Landscapers and construction trucks are the worst offenders from what I have witnessed in my area of Florida. I don’t think there is a documented case of someone dying if their lawn is not mowed, treated or the bulldozer arrives late.
Sadly, they are inviting a tragedy by continuing this practice.
- The “right turn on red” should be accomplished after a full stop. Most drivers I have seen who do this rarely stop and perhaps they might only slow down. Always keep a watchful eye for these drivers; they must be late for something serious, something major or a medical emergency … but, again, I doubt it. Just in a rush …
Many states like New York, Connecticut and others offer a Defensive Driving Course which, in six hours of instruction, reminds drivers of the rules and laws of driving that were covered (and forgotten) in their LEARNER’S PERMIT booklet. These have either been forgotten or purposely ignored … and that’s when accidents happen.
I have been a police officer for the past 28 years and just about every accident I ever had to do a report on could have been prevented if one or both of the parties involved just SLOWED DOWN.
As Spock would say in many episodes of the STAR TREK TV series: “It might not be logical, but it is true.”